This pretty Magpie Mine walk takes you from the sleepy village of Sheldon, across gently rolling meadows, to the Bulls Head pub in Monyash (where there’s a fantastic playground), and back through Magpie Mine (the best preserved 19th century lead mine in the whole of Britain and free to explore). Plus there are lots of fossils to be found in the stiles close to Monyash! Away from the main hotspots of the National Park, this is one of our favourite of the quiet Peak District walks.
Do be warned that there are A LOT of stiles on this walk, so this may not be suitable for those with dogs, or parents with a little ones in a carrier. Plus, it’s very likely that you will have to walk through at least one field of cows; walk carefully and quietly, and give them lots of space.
If you’re looking for a Magpie Mine walk, this is a great loop walk. But if you’re after a shorter walk, you can just visit directly from Sheldon, following the footpaths at the end of this walk.
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If you are planning a visit to the National Park, please arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds if visiting over sunny weekends or school holidays. Please also take all litter home with you, don’t bring BBQs and park your car in designated parking areas. Also, please use these walks as a guide; access and stiles may change.
During the winter months, it’s important to be extra prepared and safe when out walking and adventuring in the Peak District. The weather can change so quickly, especially on the exposed escarpments, and we don’t want you to get caught out.
Read our top tips for safe winter walking with the kids.
PARKING INFORMATION: Please do not rely solely on the postcode for parking directions. In the National Park, a postcode can cover a large area. Postcodes are only provided as guidance. Please either use the Google Maps point provided for every walk, or what3words.
Do check out our top tips for hiking with young kids, as well as our essential items to take on a family hike in the Peak District.
Download and print out our walking guides ready for your family walk. There are over 80 downloadable walk guides available, and these include all the main Peak District family walks, pram-friendly walks, and toddler walks.
Each printable download is just £1.50, whether it’s a short 1km stroll or an epic walk up Kinder Scout.
Magpie Mine walk from Sheldon to Monyash walk map
On all Peak District family walks it’s a good idea to have an Ordnance Survey paper map with you, even if you have your phone on you. For this walk you need the OS Explorer Active Map OL 24 (White Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.
|The Peak District: White Peak Area Map | Weatherproof | Peak…||£14.75||Buy on Amazon|
The route description below follows this OS Map in an anti-clockwise direction.
Get a printable download of this walk
Want to print off this walk guide rather than rely on your mobile? Then click here to download the PDF to print out at home. Perhaps print out a copy for the kids to follow the step-by-step directions and/or photos? It’s a great way to get them engaged with the walk and gives them a sense of responsibility.
All printable downloads are £1.50 each. Click here for the full list of Peak District Kids printable downloads.
Please note that your download link expires 72 hours from order, so make sure you save your PDF somewhere where you’ll remember it. If you are unsure where your download folder is on your mobile device, we recommend you download the PDF on your laptop or desktop.
Need to know
DISTANCE OF WALK: 8km / 5 miles
TYPE OF WALK: circular farmland walk between sleepy villages
PARKING: There is no designated car park at Sheldon. You can park your car along the road. Click here for the Google Map point, postcode DE45 1QS. Please respect local residents and don’t park in front of gates or driveways, and leave enough room for tractors and emergency vehicles to pass.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Magpie Mine (free entry), fossils embedded in styles, lunch at the Bulls Head Pub and the Monyash playground.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids, this is a 3 hour walk. However, with stops along the way to inspect fossils, chat to cows, play at the playground and time to explore the mine, allow for a full day with young kids.
ACCESSIBILITY: There are a lot of stiles on this walk, so it may not be suitable for those walking with dogs, or parents walking with kids in a carrier.
TOTAL ASCENT: 108 metres
PUBLIC TOILETS: There are no public toilets on this walk. There are pubs at both Sheldon and Monyash.
START: Sheldon bus stop
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 1717 6882
Post code: DE45 1QS
Route follows an anticlockwise direction.
1. With your back to the bus stop, take a right along the road (away from Sheldon). After 110 metres there is a footpath sign on your right.
2. Climb over the steep stile (the first of many) and walk across the field in the direction that the footpath arrow is pointing. Then walk through the gap in the drystone wall (next to a squeeze stile) to cut off the corner of the next field. Then over another stile.
3. Continue walking in the same direction, passing through a squeeze stile to the left of the gap as shown in the photo below (don’t take the track leading through the gap on the right).
You will then walk:
- over a small stone stile
- a wooden gate
- two small stone stiles
- a larger stone stile
- a medium stile
- then follow to where the pylon meets the next drystone wall for the next stone stile
4. This last stile brings you out onto a lane. Take a left and follow this slightly uphill for 280 metres to the road. Then cross the road and take the footpath almost immediately ahead of you (it’s a little bit to the right).
5. Walk along this track for 430 metres until you meet a wall in front of you (with an information board to your left). Cross the stone stile in the corner and continue walking straight ahead, following the arrow for ‘public footpath’ (on a pole just 25 metres on from the stile).
6. With the stone wall on your right, continue across three stone stiles. When you reach the small woodland (as shown in photo below), continue straight ahead, keeping the trees on your right and the farm buildings on your left.
7. At the next stile, take a left to cross another stile. The farm buildings will be on your left. Look out for fossils in the stile steps! Continue following the footpath arrows across the fields towards Monyash. You will soon spot the church spire of Monyash in the distance. You will walk over 5 stone stiles.
8. The fifth stone stile leads out onto the road. Fancy the playground and pub? Then take a right to the T-junction, then a left, and walk up to the village of Monyash. Here there is the Bulls Head pub, which is one of best pubs with a playground in the Peak District (although the playground is actually the village playground, sat right behind the pub garden). There is also a small café next serving ice-creams (The Old Smithy Tearooms & Restaurant).
If you don’t fancy heading into Monyash, then take a left here and walk up the road.
9. After the pub/playground/ice-cream retrace your steps back to the last stile and continue walking up the road leading away from Monyash. This section of road does get busy on a sunny weekend, so keep hold of little ones’ hands.
10. After 600 metres from the stile, there is a footpath on your left (just a little way after the ‘eggs for sale’ sign, and to the right of the metal gate). Walk through this squeeze still (it’s easy to miss!) More fossils can be seen on this stile.
11. Continue along the footpath across the field, veering slightly right. Cross over the next stile and continue along this footpath across the fields passing over (yet another and certainly not the last!) stone stile, and through a wooden gate. On the field after the wooden gate, follow the footpath around the left of the field and continue straight through a break in the next drystone wall.
12. At the next metal gate, continue walking straight ahead with the drystone wall on your left. If the gate is locked, use the stone stile in the left hand corner and then come back round on the other side so that you’re walking with the drystone wall on your left.
13. Keeping the drystone wall to your left, you will eventually enter a little woodland after crossing 3 stone stiles.
14. Take the short 50 metre walk through the woodland and follow the footpath out the other side, which leads out onto a road.
15. Take a right and walk along the road, passing the sign to Sheldon pointing left. Don’t take the road to Sheldon. Instead, keep walking straight ahead (the road veers slightly right) until you meet the footpath sign on the left (see photo below) that leads you up to Magpie Mine.
16. Climb over the stone stile (has anyone been counting these stiles?) and follow the track up to Magpie Mine, waymarked with yellow arrows. The mine is totally free to access and walk around. Please be careful of the machinery and drops. It’s a super fun place for kids to explore!
17. When you’ve finished exploring Magpie Mine, time to head back to Sheldon. Take the footpath at the back of Magpie Mine, the opposite side to where you entered the mine (shown in photo below). Follow the footpath away from Magpie Mine to cross a stone stile in the left-hand corner of the field.
18. Continue along the footpath straight ahead; crossing over a small stone stile, then through two wooden gates, and then two final big stone stiles.
19. The footpath then leads you through a gate and onto the main road through the village of Sheldon. If you fancy a pint, head to the Cock and Pullet, which is further into the village, on the right.
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Or perhaps purchase a Peak District Kids iron-on patch. £1 from every sale of the iron-on patches goes towards the Peak District National Park Foundation, a registered charity established to raise funds to care for the Peak District National Park.
Want more ideas for family walks?
Best Family Walks in the Peak District
Pram Friendly Peak District walks
Toddler walks in the Peak District
Also, come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group for any questions or to share photos of your walks.